Gorgon Partners Get Green Light

ChevronTexaco said that the Joint Venture developing the giant Gorgon gas project has received in-principle approval from the Western Australia State Government for the restricted use of Barrow Island for a foundation development.

The Gorgon development proposal centers on the establishment of an Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility on Barrow Island, which lies directly between the Gorgon gas fields and the Australian mainland. The island is both an internationally recognized nature reserve and the location of Australia's largest onshore operating oilfield.

George Kirkland, President of ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum, said: "Today's decision moves our company another step forward in building a global, integrated gas business that targets attractive markets and commercializes our large gas resource base."

"I believe this decision by the Western Australian government demonstrates confidence in our industry's ability to plan and implement projects in harmony with environmental considerations. Protection of this nature reserve will be taken into account at each step in the development process."

The Gorgon Joint Venture partners will now focus on the next phase of the development. This includes preparing detailed environmental plans that will allow the project to manage the proposed development on Barrow Island while continuing to care for, and fund, the protection of the island's environment. Additional planning includes pursuing marketing opportunities and progressing engineering and design studies.

The Gorgon Joint Venture's proposal for the development of the Gorgon gas field on Barrow Island, which will deliver significant economic benefits to the state of Western Australia, has been subject to a strategic environmental, social and economic review (ESE Review) undertaken over the past 12 months.

The ESE process provided a comprehensive, open and transparent review of the Venture's development proposal for all stakeholders. The Gorgon Joint Venture agrees to the quarantine recommendations identified by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). These recommendations are consistent with the Venture's view that effective quarantine is the key to protecting the conservation values of the Island.

The Gorgon Joint Venture Participants are ChevronTexaco (4/7th interest), Shell (2/7th interest) and ExxonMobil (1/7th interest).